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Each year the ICE awards the John Mitchell medal for significant contributions in the world of geotechnical engineering.
2017’s is going to Dr Andrew Ridley, who will showcase his award-winning work at a free lecture on Wednesday January 11, to be followed by a free drinks reception sponsored by Geotechnical Observations Ltd.
The changing condition of materials used to construct railway and canal embankments has a critical effect on their long term serviceability and stability, Dr Ridley’s work addresses this, focussing on Monitoring the performance of clay slopes.
It explores finite element analyses showing the influence of gradual and slow swelling on long term stability, and strains from fluctuating pore water pressures caused by seasonal stress. It is essential such analyses are fed with good data obtained from reliable field and laboratory measurements.
This lecture will present measurements gathered during the last 20 years and describe how they were made. Comparisons will be drawn with the predicted behaviours of clay slopes.
Andrew Ridley graduated in Civil Engineering from Nottingham University in 1984 and joined Fugro as a Geotechnical Engineer and subsequently moved to WS Atkins.
Returning to full time study, he completed an MSc in Soil Mechanics at Imperial College, London in 1988 and a PhD under the supervision of Professor John Burland in 1993. He won the Unwin prize for his PhD research on the measurement of soil suction and this period of study, research and application marked out Andrew’s future in Engineering instrumentation and monitoring.
In 2000 Andrew and colleagues at Imperial set up Geotechnical Observations, a spin out company, as a vehicle for applying the soil suction research to industry applications. This allowed the emerging measurement techniques to be applied to a wide range of earth asset structures such as highways, rail and water embankments. Andrew has remained at Geotechnical Observations and has cultivated a broad commercial, academic and altruistic interest in instrumentation and its application in practice.
Andrew has published widely throughout his career, in peer reviewed journals, international conferences, industry guidance documents and standards. He remains at the international forefront of instrumentation and monitoring – a vital aspect of so many of our Engineering structures – and is sought after as a contributor, speaker and co-worker across world.
Andrew’s sustained energy and appetite for developing and applying technology to help improve our understanding of Ground Engineering structures marks him out as a worthy recipient of the John Mitchell Medal.